Wednesday, March 2, 2016


Let's start off today's Collection post with several members of Janet Reid's community ...

Paul Lamb takes a look at one particular anachronism (interpolated spectacles) in a piece of art, and I am brought to mind of the way people like to go all guitarist and whinge about modern anachronisms in drama, art, or writing, like it's some sort of newfangled SIN. Which: sigh. No, we've always brought ancient tales into our own worlds. (I'm also of the opinion that Interpolated Spectacles would make a great name for a band.)

Julie Weathers, possibly the Head Reider at Janet Reid’s blog/community, has a nicely in-depth post on the mid nineteenth-century riding habit (and her work!). With a variety of images, for my fellow costume nerds!

I want to thank E. M. Goldsmith for this link … Chuck Wendig, Huffpo, cake-eating, and monetizing Stockholm Syndrome. On the ethics and economy of a billion-dollar enterprise and unpaid writers. (Worth a click beyond for The Tale of the Depends Duping.)

CarolynnWithTwoNs, or 2Ns as we call her at Janet’s world, has an insightful post about those who provide service every day. I’ve never been a restaurant server nor worked in retail, but as a secretary, and especially in my job now, customer service is my bread and my work was for years something I apologized for, so: yeah. Before preppies, yuppies, and the Reagan years, it was a point of PRIDE to be a union member, a factory worker, a person who actually produced something or served people.

To go along with Julie's historical costume research, The History Blog has a post on an 11,000-year-old engraved  shale pendant, found in Yorkshire. I always love the theoretical decoding attempts of prehistoric artifacts.

Speaking of decoding, in my ongoing fascination with Ötzi the Iceman, the recent mapping of his sixty-one tattoos has struck me with the significance of the tattoo as talisman/healing magic. His ink marked the spots, where he suffered various painful ailments and injuries. The simple lines - incisions pigmented with charcoal - were not drawn as art, but represent the work of prehistoric medicinal practice. The mention of correlation with acupuncture points is an excruciatingly intriguing entre' to the eventual discovery we'll make, that ancient tattoo practices do present modern scientific value.

DIY, repurpose, upcycle - it's the new "Reuse, Recycle, Reduce" - and the old, old reason a fifteenth-century panel survived the Reformation, Also the reason I love palimpsests.

... and back to the Reiders. One of the things about her community is that, if you click on the commenters' profiles, you find the most devastating array of great blogs and pages. And so I share two posts from J. J. Litke: on primate skulls, and traffic, sorta. PLEASE do yourself the favor of clicking both of these: she's a great read, and a better writer. Be it on your own head if you miss the gift shop link in there somewhere.

Finally today, a blog I've been meaning to share for the movie lovers, and love-to-hate-rs (ish), Dreams are What le Cinema is For. I ran into this when looking for an image to use on a recent post where I mentioned the literal grace of Grace Kelly and got a bit schmoopy about memories of my dad. (Or I may not have posted that one; sometimes posts do shrivel and waste away.) Anyway, I quickly became addicted to the archives, and bookmarked it, because: camp! movies! a little cattiness! SHEER FUN! Woo!


TCW said...

Well, I read the HuffPo story. It has not made a good start to my day.

I blog every week and (though my blog is not as well read as this) readership suggests that quite a few people must be coming back, because (presumably) they like my writing. Yet most of my blog readers are in the US and, though my books are all available on Kindle in the US (the paperbacks being pricey over there) my sales are overwhelmingly in the UK and US sales are negligible. Which leads me to conclude that a lot of people are happy to read blog posts free, but won't shell out the occasional $2.99 to support the writer by buying a book.

The trouble is that we are all used to *Free* in the creative arts. Music is streamed free (or almost free on Spotify where hardly any of your subscription goes to the artist). Video is free on YouTube. And writing is free on blogs like Diane's and mine. Even my books are free on pirate sites that spring up so quickly I really can't be bothered with the (usually ignored) cease and desist notices.

Diane blogs free. I blog free. You, dear reader, are reading this free. If HuffPo is exploiting this, loathsome and morally reprehensible as they are, they're just going along with what the rest of us are doing.

It's very depressing. Once I stop ranting here, I will be proofing my next novel. Proofing is a horrible job and there's no doubt that it's real work, and part of the process of getting a real book really published by a real publisher. But the amount of income this will generate for me will, in a year, be less than my old consultancy job paid me in a day. That, for 99.99% of writers is the sad reality of a world where everything is free.

My personal rant on this is viewable at Have a look. There's no charge.

DLM said...

The worst part of all this is that I am VERY much a party to only partaking in those swaths of the internet that come free. It's never occurred to me my blog should nor could be "monetized" in any way, BUT it also never really occurred to me how many people HuffPo's gargantuan enterprise takes advantage of. The former is of no interest, but the latter does disgust me.

And at the same time, I'm not more likely to get into subscription reading,either. I love to pay for books. I believe in paying for books. I will no longer support HuffPo. But what does that mean? Nothing, really: I'm not commencing to put my money where my mouth is, by stopping reading one free outlet.